Did you know that the number on a soccer jersey means a lot to a soccer player? yes, it’s not just about playing football, but also about having confidence in the number behind your jersey. in fact, there’s a reason you’ll never see a player in a jersey that doesn’t have a number on the back. That’s why choosing a soccer jersey number is as important as being on the field.
Reading: Best jersey numbers in soccer
so how do you choose a soccer jersey number? Well, there are different factors and considerations that a player should take into account when choosing his soccer jersey number. some of the aspects may be personal or have something to do with the club you play for.
The truth of the matter is that a player’s soccer jersey number carries a lot of weight with them. One of the things that are on players’ minds when they contemplate joining football clubs is the jersey number they will play under. The jersey number is so important to a player that he can do whatever it takes to wear the number of his dreams. it is more than a number; it is a source of pride. if you look closely at the most iconic figures in football, their jersey numbers have the same level of popularity as them. why is that the case? It’s because choosing a soccer jersey number is just as important as stepping onto the pitch and playing for your club or country.
why a soccer jersey number?
Now, before we go deeper and identify how to choose a soccer jersey number, it is important to understand the purpose of a soccer jersey. Right from the start, it’s notable to note that a jersey number is simply for identification. when the players are on the soccer field, each team has a different jersey based on color. when it comes to an individual team, the only way to tell individual players apart is the numbers on their backs. as the shirt they wear is one color and design, the only way to tell them apart is through the shirt numbers. the referee will want to know how to distinguish one player from another.
Referees and commentators must keep track of players whenever they are on the field. Since they may not be able to remember their names or identify their faces all the time, they can comfortably use jersey numbers to identify themselves. this facilitates the work of everyone involved in a soccer game.
Having talked about the importance of a jersey number, now it’s time to explore a quick guide on how to choose a soccer jersey number.
choose a number depending on the game position
One of the common ways to choose a soccer jersey number is based on a player’s playing position. Essentially, there are different playing positions in soccer. they are: goalkeeper, defense, midfield and attack. they can be further broken down to include the following: central defenders, full-backs (right-back and left-back), central midfielder, defending midfielder, attacking midfielder, wingers, and forward. traditionally, there are numbers that are considered to belong to specific positions or roles.
This number is traditionally given to a goalkeeper. this is why you will find that most goalkeepers use this number. if you are a goalkeeper, this is a suitable number for you. the reason goalkeepers are assigned this jersey number is because they are first on the team list.
Since they are the first to appear on the list, the teams see fit to assign them the number. Another reason teams allow goalkeepers to wear the number 1 jersey is because they are considered the most important player on the field. While this may sound controversial, it is actually the truth. normally a team can win a game with a bad or poor striker. but they can’t win a soccer game with a bad goalkeeper. so, if you play in the goalkeeper position, you can consider this jersey number.
In this blog I have written a couple of articles about this vital position in football. For example, be sure to check out “Average Goalkeeper Height: Does Height Matter for a Goalkeeper?”, and don’t forget to check out my recommended gk gloves.
This number usually goes on the right side. if you’re a defender who plays on the right side, this is the jersey number you’re likely to wear. however, with the evolution of modern football, there are teams that do not play with full-backs. they prefer to play with wings. in such a case, a central defender may wear the #2 jersey. if you follow the shirt number issuance position system, this number is traditionally assigned to a right-back.
This number is primarily assigned to left backs. if you play in the left back position, this is a number that can fit you well. This is the shirt number that Ashley Cole had when he played for Chelsea. for teams that don’t play full-backs, the number can still fit well with central defenders.
#4 and #5
these are the numbers that are naturally assigned to the central defender. teams can choose to assign either #4 or #5 to particular players depending on how the coach sees them. for example, the #4 jersey can go to the strongest central defender or to a defender who is a backup for the other central defender. so in this case the #5 jersey can also go to the strongest defender. A good example of a famous player who wore a #4 jersey is Sergio Ramos. he wore this number for a long time at real madrid until he left after the 20/21 season.
Also, the #5 is usually assigned to a defensive midfielder who wins balls back and cuts the game. a player with the characteristics of ngolo kante or casemiro can easily use #5.
Traditionally, this is the shirt number that mostly goes to central midfielders. if you’re a central midfielder, this is the jersey number you’re likely to get on a team.
This is a jersey number that most players would like to have. however, if your team assigns jersey numbers based on playing position, the number 7 jersey is primarily for wingers. That’s why Cristiano Ronaldo wears the shirt number. he is a world class winger who has achieved great success in his football career.
This is the jersey number assigned to central midfielders. box-to-box midfielders are also assigned this number. A good example of a player who wore this shirt number at Arsenal is Aaron Ramsey.
this is the number that the strikers take. If you know any striker in the world of football, they will probably tell you that wearing this shirt number is a source of pride for them. The famous Brazilian soccer player, Ronaldo, comes to mind when mentioning the number.
if you know any creative midfielder, this is the number they would pick. attacking midfielders are assigned this number, and it has become an iconic number for the great players who have had the privilege of wearing it. a good example is lionel messi and diego maradona. Be sure to check out my article explaining why the best soccer players wear the #10 jersey and why it’s considered a sacred number.
#11 and #12
On the one hand, #11 is also often used by the wingers. take gareth bale or neymar as an example when he was in barcelona. on the other hand, #12 is a toll-free number. this is the reason why, for example, the team’s second goalkeeper has 12.
choose based on numbers valuable to you
It is not mandatory for the player to choose jersey numbers based on playing position. You must have noticed players choosing jersey numbers that are not among the traditional numbers assigned based on playing positions. As well as choosing a jersey number based on your playing position, you might also consider settling for numbers that mean a lot to you. If you have the privilege of choosing a jersey number for yourself, you can think of the following ideas:
If you’re thinking about choosing a jersey number and wondering which route to take, why not consider your birthday? for example, if you were born on December 30, you can opt for the #30 shirt. a good example of a player with a jersey number inspired by his birthday is gianluigi donnarumma. he wears jersey #99. He was born in 1999. He plays for the French club Paris Saint Germain. although he is a goalie, he opted not to wear the normal #1 jersey that most goalies wear. this number may look very different from the others, but it is the one he chose and wears with pride. you can consider your birthday for a jersey number.
a special date
You can also have a special date in your life that is important to you. Since a jersey number is important to you as a player, you can choose it based on a memorable day in your life. for example, you can choose the day you joined your club or the day you started playing professional football as your jersey number. For example, if you started playing on May 25, you can choose that number so that it always reminds you of the day you started your career as a professional soccer player.
a number that reminds you of an important person
again, you may want to make your jersey number special by remembering someone who meant a lot in your life. you choose a jersey number that a player you admire had. For example, if you loved watching John Terry, the former Chelsea captain, you may choose to use the number 26 to remember him and inspire you as you play.
a source of inspiration
You can also choose a soccer jersey number based on a goal you would like to achieve. the number becomes an inspiration to push you and motivate you to achieve the goal. a good example is choosing number 20 for your jersey with the desire to score at least 20 goals each season. the number becomes an inspiration to encourage you to fulfill your dreams of being a striker.
A look at the most iconic soccer jersey numbers
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There are soccer jersey numbers that are iconic and generate a lot of respect and admiration. As you know, football is the most popular sport in the world and this means that fans all over the world follow it religiously. If you have the privilege of choosing a jersey number, you may want to consider going for the iconic numbers.
It’s not easy to choose these numbers because the best players in the world have made them coveted jersey numbers. the fact that these numbers are very valuable means that only the best players should use them. imagine wearing an iconic number but it doesn’t match the weight on it. you will definitely feel out of place. however, if you wear one of the iconic numbers and are good at what you do, you’ll be proud to wear your jersey.
so what are the iconic numbers in football? the iconic numbers are 7, 10 and 9. the most iconic of the three are 7 and 10. these are the jersey numbers that the best players in the world have proudly worn. wingers mostly take the #7 jersey, creative midfielders take the #10 jersey, and forwards take the #9 jersey.
That said, in my opinion if I could choose any number it would be #10 simply because it has been worn by the best in history: pele, maradona, platini, messi, ronaldinho, etc. in fact, I wrote an entire article on why top soccer players wear 10.
shirt number 7
The iconic number 7 is primarily assigned to a great winger. a winger plays an important role when it comes to attacking. coaches who want to build a strong attack need to invest in developing quick and skilled wingers. wingers can easily score goals, as well as providing scoring opportunities for forwards. That’s why they get the iconic number 7. Some of the best-known players who had this number on the back of their jerseys included George Best, David Beckham, Eric Cantona, and most recently Cristiano Ronaldo. All of these players were Manchester United players.
the number 7 shirt was reserved for the exceptionally talented players of manchester united. this number would rarely be given to a player who was not at the level of a great player. one had to be a world-class player to wear a jersey that had this number on the back. What stands out about Cristiano Ronaldo is that he took the number 7 jersey to a higher level. Even after his spell with Manchester United, he continued to wear the iconic number at the clubs he signed for. since then he has played for real madrid and juventus and kept the number.
surprisingly, he has become number 7 to be respected worldwide by coaches, players and fans. in all high-ranking football clubs, the number is assigned to the best players. Edinson Cavani currently wears the number 7 shirt at Manchester United. n’golo kante currently uses the number in chelsea. these are players who have established themselves as gifted and exceptional players to lift the weight of the number. if you’re a standout winger and wondering which number to pick, you can settle for number 7.
shirt number 10
This is another number that has drawn a lot of attention in the world of football. the number is reserved for players who are immensely creative. they are players with the ability to create scoring chances for their teammates. they are also capable of creating opportunities for themselves. If you’re talking about dribbling, these are the players who get most of the credit. Simply put, they are fun to watch. they make the game of soccer entertaining. There are a number of great players who have had the privilege of wearing the number 10 jersey. Some of these players include Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Maradona, Pele and Kaká.
The players mentioned above were proven creative players who entertained fans with their skills. not only were they able to bring smiles to the faces of their fans, but they also scored great goals. some of which are memorable to this day. all the players mentioned above are retired except lionel messi. this is just to show you famous and famous this number is. every time these players played, their fans knew that a moment of magic could come from them and give them the victory they needed.
today, messi, despite being 33 years old, is still a great player admired by many. he is as famous as the jersey number he wears. this is why many creative midfielders would want to wear the number. if you are an excellent and exceptional creative midfielder, you can choose this as your number if no other player already wears it. Be sure to check out my article explaining why the best soccer players wear the #10 jersey and why it’s considered a sacred number.
shirt number 9
It may not be as famous as the numbers 7 and 10, but it is a globally distinguished number. normally, this is the number worn by strikers. a striker is an important player in a soccer team. Since strikers are goal scorers, they are very valuable to a team. Unlike creative midfielders who bring fun and creativity to football matches, forwards have only one duty, and that is to score goals. Regardless of how they score goals, the fans remember them for it. The deadliest strikers in the history of the sport wore the number 9 jersey. Even in today’s football world, some of the best strikers wear the number 9 jersey.
some of the strikers who wear the jersey number are alan shearer, ronaldo, bobby charlton, robbie fowler, among others. Ronaldo, the Brazilian striker, won the hearts of many fans around the world thanks to his prolific goalscoring abilities. It is because of the heroics of the strikers of the past years that the current strikers yearn to wear the number 9 jersey. If you are a striker in the process of choosing a soccer jersey number, you can opt for the number 9.
things to consider when choosing a jersey number
There are imperative aspects that you must take into account when you are in the process of choosing a jersey number. one of the things you should always remember is that when you go to a new team, you may not get the chance to choose the number you like. For example, if you are a left back, you expect to pick a natural number like 3. However, the number may not be available at the time you pick it. another player may be wearing the number when you join the club. in such a situation, you must choose another number. you don’t have to wear the number 3 shirt to play left back.
Regardless of how talented you are, it’s disrespectful to demand a jersey number when another player already wears it. any other number can work fine. As long as a player and his club have agreed to stick to a particular number, they can play in their preferred position without worrying about the shirt number. A good example is Michael Essien at Chelsea. although he was not a central defender, he played in the number 5 shirt and it was fine for him and the club. it does not affect a player’s performance to have a number that is not desirable for him.
Still of great importance, to the extent that you choose your jersey number, you should not do it for yourself. If your coach or any other official in your club advises you to choose a particular number, it is wise to listen to them. Of course, there’s a reason they insist you take that number. Unless you’ve built a brand around a specific number, it’s vital to embrace being a team player from the start. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo have made their own brand of their jersey numbers. that’s why he will hear it referred to as cr7. it is in those situations where a player may decide to keep a particular jersey number.
The above guide should help you choose a soccer jersey number. It can be a troublesome business for players to choose jersey numbers, especially if they have no idea how to go about it. however, it shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do once you have the knowledge on how to settle for the right number for you. The easiest way to choose a jersey number is by taking into account your playing position. But, if you can’t get a number through this route, you can apply the other tips to get a number to make you proud while playing for your team. The best advice for football players when choosing their jersey numbers is not to rush. take your time until you get the best number. your jersey number is very important.